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By Josh Sundquist
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Love & Romance; Social Issues: Bullying; Social Issues: Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Grades: 7 & up
After a lifetime attending a school for the blind, sixteen-year-old Will Porter’s first day at a mainstream high school went about as well as he expected. He accidentally grazed a girl’s boob when reaching for a handrail on the stairs, he sat on another student in the cafeteria, and he somehow drove a new classmate to tears without saying a word. His high school career can only go up from there, right?
As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl name Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will could have ever imagined, and as he adjusts to his new sense, he finds the sighted world has been keeping more secrets from him than he realized. It turns out that the girl he’s been falling for doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty. In fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance now appears to be a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?
Told in Will’s voice as he transitions from blind to sighted, this is a story about the nature of perception, love, trust, and romantic attraction. With moments of breathtaking poignancy, it’s about how we relate to each other and the world around us, and how true friendship is one thing you don’t need to be able to see to believe.